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Nutrition and Oral Health Considerations in Children with Special Health Care Needs: Implications for Oral Health Care Providers

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Children with special health care needs are at increased risk for oral diseases. The purpose of this article was to discuss: nutritional and oral health factors routinely observed in most chronic childhood disorders; dietary modifications associated with select systemic disorders and how they may impact oral health in children; and the following factors common to chronic disorders associated with diet modifications—decreased appetite and increased nutritional risk; frequency of food intake; parental overindulgence; long-term use of cariogenic medications; and xerostomia. Characteristics of childhood disorders that require dietary modifications (congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, cancer, AIDS/HIV, diabetes mellitus, and phenylketonuria) are summarized. In addition, healthy dietary modifications and oral health recommendations are suggested. Implementation of these recommendations can assist the dentist and dental team as they join physicians and nutritionists in delivering the best possible care to children with special health care needs.
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Keywords: DIET COUNSELING; MEDICALLY RESTRICTED DIET; NUTRITION; ORAL HEALTH; PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Pediatric Outreach and Prevention Programs, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY, USA. [email protected] 2: Pediatric Outreach and Prevention Programs, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY, USA 3: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY, USA 4: The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA 5: Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Mesa, Ariz, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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